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Ontario Tourism Minister: Staycation Tax Credit Won’t be Permanent

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According to Ontario’s (Canada) tourism minister, the province has no plans on extending the Staycation Tax Credit for another year, amid the hard-hit industry’s recommendation as a way to help it recover from the pandemic.

In a report from the Canadian Press, Neil Lumsden, the minister of tourism, culture and sport, said the province temporarily introduced the Staycation Tax Credit for the 2022 tax year to aid in the tourism, hospitality, and culture sectors’ recovery. 

The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit is an additional 20% individual income tax credit on qualified accommodation that started last January 1 and will end this December 31. This is up to a maximum of CA$1,000 for an individual and CA$2,000 for families, with a maximum tax credit of CA$200 or CA$400, respectively.

As the program ends, Lumsden says the province is supporting the sector in other ways, including CA$48.1 million for festivals and events and CA$19.1 million in support for Regional Tourism Organizations in 2022-2023.

As per a report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, the tourism industry won’t fully recover until 2025 and suggested dozens of ways the provincial and federal governments could help.

Recommendations included permanently keeping the staycation tax credit, which allows Ontarians to claim 20% of eligible accommodation expenses, such as hotel or campground stays, in order to encourage local travel.

According to Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, the Progressive Conservative government is abandoning the tourism industry.

In a statement, Schreiner said that taking away incentives that benefit both the tourism industry and families needing a bit of help to be able to travel the province during a time of high inflation makes no sense.

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